Montour Trail In Pennsylvania

Here is everything you need to know about the Montour Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Pennsylvania
  • Length: 47 miles.
  • Type: Biking
  • Surface: gravel
  • Managed By: Montour Trail Council
  • Permit Required?: No
  • Website:

The Montour Trail, located in western Pennsylvania, has a rich history that dates back to the late 19th century. Originally, the trail was part of the Montour Railroad, which was established in 1877. The railroad served as a vital transportation link for the region’s coal and oil industries, connecting various mining and manufacturing towns.

The Montour Railroad played a significant role in the economic development of the area, facilitating the transportation of goods and providing employment opportunities. It also served as a passenger line, allowing residents to travel between towns more conveniently. The railroad’s success peaked in the early 20th century when it was acquired by the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad.

However, with the decline of the coal and oil industries in the mid-20th century, the Montour Railroad faced challenges and eventually ceased operations in 1984. Recognizing the potential of the abandoned rail corridor, a group of dedicated volunteers formed the Montour Trail Council in 1989 with the goal of transforming the former railroad into a recreational trail.

Over the years, the Montour Trail Council has worked tirelessly to acquire the necessary land rights, secure funding, and develop the trail. Today, the Montour Trail spans approximately 63 miles, offering a scenic route for hikers, cyclists, and equestrians. It passes through picturesque landscapes, including woodlands, meadows, and streams, providing a peaceful escape from the urban areas nearby.

The Montour Trail stands as a testament to the region’s industrial past and the community’s commitment to preserving its history. It not only provides a recreational outlet for outdoor enthusiasts but also serves as a reminder of the important role that railroads played in shaping the economic and social fabric of western Pennsylvania.

While On The Trail

Access Points

Info not available.

Transportation Available

1. Montour Trail Shuttle – Shuttle service providing transportation to various points along the Montour Trail.
2. Pittsburgh International Airport – Major airport serving the Pittsburgh area, located near the Montour Trail.
3. Port Authority of Allegheny County – Public transportation agency offering bus and light rail services in the Pittsburgh region.
4. Uber – Ride-hailing service available for convenient transportation to and from the Montour Trail.
5. Lyft – Another ride-hailing service providing transportation options in the vicinity of the Montour Trail.
6. Yellow Cab – Traditional taxi service operating in the area, offering transportation services to and from the Montour Trail.
7. Enterprise Rent-A-Car – Car rental agency providing options for independent transportation near the Montour Trail.
8. Zipcar – Car-sharing service offering short-term vehicle rentals for easy access to the Montour Trail and surrounding areas.
9. BikePGH – Non-profit organization promoting biking as a transportation option, providing resources and information for cyclists near the Montour Trail.
10. Lime – Electric scooter and bike-sharing service available for quick and eco-friendly transportation around the Montour Trail.


The Montour Trail offers several amenities for visitors. Some of the amenities available at the Montour Trail include:

1. Restrooms: There are restroom facilities available at various points along the trail, including trailheads and some parking areas.

2. Parking: There are designated parking areas at various trailheads and access points along the Montour Trail. These parking areas provide convenient access for trail users.

3. Camping Sites: The Montour Trail does not have designated camping sites. However, there are nearby campgrounds and parks where visitors can camp if they wish to stay overnight in the area.

4. Picnic Areas: There are picnic areas located at some of the trailheads and along the trail. These areas provide a great spot for visitors to relax, have a meal, and enjoy the surrounding nature.

5. Water Stations: There are water stations available at some trailheads and along the trail. These stations provide drinking water for trail users to stay hydrated during their journey.

6. Bike Repair Stations: The Montour Trail has bike repair stations equipped with basic tools and air pumps. These stations are available at some trailheads and provide assistance for minor bike repairs.

7. Information Kiosks: Information kiosks are located at various points along the trail. These kiosks provide trail maps, safety information, and other useful resources for visitors.

8. Benches and Rest Areas: There are benches and rest areas located at regular intervals along the trail. These provide a place for visitors to take a break, relax, and enjoy the scenery.

9. Dog-Friendly Areas: The Montour Trail is dog-friendly, and there are designated areas where visitors can walk their dogs. However, dogs must be kept on a leash and owners are responsible for cleaning up after their pets.

Please note that amenities may vary at different sections of the trail, so it is advisable to check the official Montour Trail website or contact the trail management for specific information about amenities at a particular location.

Nearby Services

1. Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh Airport: Convenient hotel near the Montour Trail with comfortable rooms and on-site dining options.
2. Courtyard by Marriott Pittsburgh Airport: Modern hotel offering spacious rooms and a bistro-style restaurant, located close to the Montour Trail.
3. Hampton Inn Pittsburgh Airport: Cozy hotel with complimentary breakfast and a fitness center, situated near the Montour Trail.
4. Comfort Suites Pittsburgh Airport: All-suite hotel featuring a free airport shuttle and a complimentary hot breakfast, conveniently located near the Montour Trail.
5. DoubleTree by Hilton Pittsburgh Airport: Upscale hotel offering stylish rooms, a restaurant, and a fitness center, just a short distance from the Montour Trail.
6. Bob Evans: Casual family-friendly restaurant serving American comfort food, located near the Montour Trail.
7. Primanti Bros.: Iconic Pittsburgh eatery known for its sandwiches piled high with coleslaw and fries, situated close to the Montour Trail.
8. Panera Bread: Popular bakery-café chain serving sandwiches, soups, and salads, conveniently located near the Montour Trail.
9. Sheetz: Convenience store chain offering made-to-order food, snacks, and fuel, with multiple locations near the Montour Trail.
10. UPMC Urgent Care: Walk-in medical clinic providing urgent care services, including minor injury treatment, near the Montour Trail.

Montour Trail Difficulty Notes

The Montour Trail, located in western Pennsylvania, offers a moderate difficulty level for hikers, bikers, and runners. Spanning over 60 miles, the trail features a mix of paved and crushed limestone surfaces, making it accessible for various skill levels. While the trail does have some gradual inclines and declines, it generally avoids steep or challenging terrain, making it suitable for beginners and families. However, there are sections with more rugged terrain and occasional obstacles, such as fallen trees or muddy patches, which may require extra caution and skill. Overall, the Montour Trail provides a pleasant and enjoyable outdoor experience for individuals seeking a moderate level of difficulty.

Features And Attractions

1. Montour Trail Trestle: This iconic landmark is a former railroad trestle that offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape. It is a popular spot for photography and enjoying the scenic beauty of the trail.

2. Enlow Tunnel: This historic tunnel is a highlight of the Montour Trail. It was originally built for trains but is now open for hikers and bikers. Walking through the tunnel is a unique experience and offers a glimpse into the area’s industrial past.

3. Peters Creek Historical Area: Located along the trail, this historical area showcases remnants of the coal mining industry that once thrived in the region. Visitors can explore old mine entrances, coke ovens, and other artifacts from the past.

4. Montour Run Valley: This picturesque valley offers breathtaking views of the surrounding hills and forests. The trail winds through the valley, providing a peaceful and scenic experience for hikers and bikers.

5. Panhandle Trail Connection: The Montour Trail connects with the Panhandle Trail, which extends into West Virginia. This connection allows visitors to explore even more scenic views and historical sites along the combined trail network.

6. Mingo Creek Viaduct: This impressive bridge spans over Mingo Creek and offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. It is a popular spot for photography and a great place to take a break and enjoy the scenery.

7. Montour Trail Mile Marker 0: Located in Coraopolis, this is the starting point of the Montour Trail. It is a significant landmark for trail enthusiasts and marks the beginning of a scenic journey through western Pennsylvania.

8. Montour Trailhead: The trailhead in Cecil Township is a hub for outdoor activities. It offers parking, restrooms, and picnic areas, making it a convenient starting point for exploring the trail.

9. Montour Trail Bridge: This bridge spans over Chartiers Creek and provides stunning views of the water and surrounding landscape. It is a popular spot for birdwatching and enjoying the natural beauty of the area.

10. Montour Trail Canonsburg Access: This access point in Canonsburg offers a scenic route through the town and connects to other trails in the area. It is a great place to explore the town’s history and enjoy the charm of Canonsburg.

These are just a few examples of the scenic views, historical sites, and natural landmarks that can be found along the Montour Trail. Exploring the trail will provide visitors with a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the beauty and history of western Pennsylvania.

Usage Guidelines

1. Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times.
2. Clean up after your pet and dispose of waste properly.
3. Bicyclists should yield to pedestrians and announce their presence when passing.
4. Motorized vehicles are not allowed on the trail, except for authorized maintenance vehicles.
5. No hunting or trapping is permitted on the trail.
6. Camping or overnight stays are not allowed on the trail.
7. Fires and open flames are prohibited.
8. Littering is strictly prohibited. Please carry out any trash you generate.
9. Respect private property adjacent to the trail and do not trespass.
10. Use caution and be aware of seasonal restrictions, such as closures during winter months or specific trail sections closed for maintenance.
11. Follow all posted signs and instructions from trail officials.
12. Use the trail responsibly and be considerate of other trail users.
13. Bicyclists should wear helmets and follow all traffic laws.
14. No motorized scooters or skateboards are allowed on the trail.
15. Do not disturb or harm wildlife or plant life along the trail.
16. No unauthorized commercial activities or events are allowed on the trail.
17. Alcohol consumption is prohibited on the trail.
18. Use designated parking areas and do not block access points or emergency gates.
19. Report any trail damage, hazards, or suspicious activities to trail authorities.
20. Enjoy the trail and have a safe and enjoyable experience!

Seasonal Information

The Montour Trail, located in western Pennsylvania, offers a scenic and diverse experience for outdoor enthusiasts throughout the year. The best times to visit the trail largely depend on personal preferences and the activities you wish to engage in. Spring and fall are particularly popular due to the mild temperatures and vibrant foliage. During these seasons, the trail is adorned with colorful blossoms and leaves, creating a picturesque backdrop for hiking, biking, or horseback riding.

Summer is another great time to visit the Montour Trail, especially for those who enjoy longer days and warmer weather. The trail provides ample shade from the surrounding trees, making it a pleasant escape from the heat. Summer is also an ideal time for birdwatching, as the trail is home to a variety of bird species.

However, it’s important to note that the Montour Trail has seasonal closures in certain sections. These closures typically occur during the winter months when the trail may become icy or covered in snow, making it unsafe for use. It’s advisable to check the trail’s official website or contact the trail management for up-to-date information on closures and trail conditions during the winter season.

Despite the seasonal closures, the Montour Trail remains accessible for most of the year, offering a range of recreational opportunities for visitors. Whether you prefer the vibrant colors of spring and fall, the warmth of summer, or the tranquility of a winter wonderland, the Montour Trail has something to offer throughout the seasons.


1. Wheelchair Accessible Parking: Designated parking spaces are available near trail entrances for easy access.
2. Paved Surfaces: The trail is mostly paved, providing a smooth and accessible surface for wheelchair users.
3. Accessible Restrooms: ADA-compliant restrooms are available at certain trailheads along the Montour Trail.
4. Trailhead Ramps: Ramps are provided at trailheads to ensure wheelchair users can easily access the trail.
5. Rest Areas with Benches: Rest areas along the trail are equipped with benches, allowing wheelchair users to take breaks and enjoy the surroundings.
6. Accessible Picnic Areas: Picnic areas along the Montour Trail are designed to accommodate wheelchair users.
7. Accessible Water Fountains: ADA-compliant water fountains are available along the trail for wheelchair users.
8. Trail Signage: Clear and accessible signage is provided along the trail to assist wheelchair users in navigating.
9. Accessible Trail Bridges: The trail features accessible bridges, allowing wheelchair users to cross over waterways and road crossings.
10. Trailhead Information Boards: Information boards at trailheads provide accessible information about the trail, its amenities, and nearby attractions.

Safety Information

1. Stay on designated trail: Stick to the marked path to avoid potential hazards and ensure a safe experience.
2. Use proper safety gear: Wear a helmet and appropriate protective gear when cycling or participating in other activities on the trail.
3. Be aware of your surroundings: Stay alert and watch for other trail users, wildlife, or potential obstacles.
4. Share the trail: Respect other users by yielding when necessary and following proper trail etiquette.
5. Keep pets on a leash: Prevent accidents and conflicts by keeping your furry friends under control at all times.
6. Stay hydrated: Bring enough water to stay hydrated during your time on the trail, especially during hot weather.
7. Use sunscreen: Protect your skin from harmful UV rays by applying sunscreen before heading out.
8. Carry a cell phone: Have a means of communication in case of emergencies or if you need assistance.
9. Be cautious at road crossings: Follow traffic rules and exercise caution when crossing roads along the trail.
10. Report any safety concerns: If you notice any trail maintenance issues or potential safety hazards, report them to the appropriate authorities.

Conservation Notes

The Montour Trail, located in western Pennsylvania, is a popular recreational trail that spans approximately 63 miles. In terms of conservation status, the trail is considered to be well-maintained and protected. Efforts have been made to ensure the preservation of the natural environment and wildlife habitats along the trail.

The Montour Trail Council, a non-profit organization, plays a crucial role in the conservation of the trail. They actively work towards maintaining and improving the trail’s condition, as well as protecting the surrounding ecosystems. The council collaborates with local authorities, landowners, and volunteers to address any potential threats to the conservation of the trail.

One of the key conservation aspects of the Montour Trail is the preservation of the riparian zones. These areas along the trail are crucial for maintaining water quality, preventing erosion, and providing habitat for various plant and animal species. The council has implemented measures to protect these zones, such as planting native vegetation and controlling invasive species.

Additionally, the Montour Trail Council focuses on minimizing the trail’s impact on wildlife. They have implemented guidelines to ensure that trail users respect the natural habitats and refrain from disturbing or harming the wildlife. Educational programs and signage are also in place to raise awareness about the importance of conservation and responsible trail use.

Overall, the conservation status of the Montour Trail is commendable. The efforts of the Montour Trail Council and other stakeholders have contributed to the preservation of the trail’s natural environment, ensuring that future generations can continue to enjoy its beauty while minimizing the impact on the surrounding ecosystems.

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